Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter, LLC.

As a Long Lapsed Catholic, LLC, Easter is a celebration filled with guilt, non-resolved resentment, and fear that my non-observance of the past 35 years has condemned by soul to eternal damnation. If this celebration took place in a darker time of year we would all be swinging by the neck from church rafters. But, it's springtime and we somehow muddle through these emotions by participating in the pagan rituals of the season: Easter egg hunts and leaving treats for an imaginary rabbit who brings chocolate idols in its own image -- and Peeps.

As a kid the Easter Bunny would always bring me a bow and arrow set, which by the end of the day had all the rubber suckers removed, the tips sharpened and the neighborhood cats on the run. My sisters got goofy hats that were worn just long enough for the family photo and then strangely disappeared. This oddness at home was amplified at church on Easter Sunday when the priest would wear gaudy robes, the altar boys were tense, and the sour throated choir ladies sang even longer and more painful hymns of little or no application.

Had it made one scrap of sense to me, had anyone bothered to bend down and explain it all rather than twist my ear to sit up straighter on the pew -- I might be a Catholic yet. Instead, I find myself wittling a tip on the end of a toy arrow, scanning the yard for cats and bunnies.


Blogger wildwoodfarms said...

Perhaps you knew earlier on than I, but I found out that tomorrow is Easter at 8:35 A.M. yesterday morning. I thought the newsman was mixed up. Ends up it is the earliest Easter since, well, no one knows for sure, although they CLAIM they know. What I want to know, is who decides WHEN it is Easter? New Year, 4th of July, Christmas, Warren Buffett's birthday, THEY don't change. So whats up with Easter. As it is not a secular holiday (oficially, anyway) who desides? Not the Pope, as other faith's own Easter just as much as he does. A committee? I doubt it. It is said that God so loved the world that he didn't send a committee. So God, the man himself, must be the one who decides. After all it IS his game, and his event(s) that are (supposed to be) commemorated. Does he just call down to the calender makers and tell them to pencil in Easter on a certain day each year, so it fits with his plans? Maybe he's taking a little trip to Venus or Pluto, or maybe Mars, to see what havoc man is now wreaking on that planet, and does not want to travel over a holiday weekend. Traffic, you know. Maybe he is just playing a bit of a joke on us, after all we ARE his children, as the story is told, and what Parent doesn't like to play with, and fool his kids now and then? OR maybe he is giving up hope, and has cast off all his little rubber suction cups, and with his first class Swiss Army Knife, is sharpening up his do a little hunting himself. We better stay inside a few weeks, just to be safe!

2:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Bodett said...

Easter, in the great pagan tradition of the Celts and other ancient northern tribes like America is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox. How's that for old time religion? Theoretically, Easter could never happen earlier than March 22. That is if the equinox happened on the same day but just previous to the full moon on a Saturday. So, this Easter on the 23rd is pushing the envelope pretty far.

Easter is actually named for the ancient goddess of life of the British Isles, Esther, who's feast day was the equinox. Early Church missionaries wisely co-opted local traditions into their worship in order to bring them into the fold. One might rightfully ask the question, who converted whom?

11:16 PM  
Blogger wildwoodfarms said...

TOM! For a guy that didn't pay attention in church, and also for a self proclaimed "slothful writer", you seem pretty up on things, or at least up on the full moon and when it shows up!

Speaking of the full moon, did you get to see the total eclipse a few weeks ago? It was as beautiful as it was spectacular.

Say, that brings up an interesting thought...what if a total eclipse of the moon happened with the first full moon after the equinox? Theoretically, if it was later than earlier, like some years, and the moon was a no show, then Easter might be pushed plumb into May, and that would mess things up for sure! The Easter Lillies would be nothing but green sprigs, the blooms long before given up and fallen off. Of course May flowers could be used, but that just doesn't seem right. Dates for the Easter sales at merchants would have to be moved, and it would affect our economy, the Easter Bunny would have to be notified, so he didn't show up a month early, and the Peeps..... the Peeps would be hard as a rock by then, all having been made too early that year. Of course, I let them sit around anyway....I like them chewy!

11:58 AM  
Blogger JustKJ said...

I may be just as slothful of a reader as you are a writer. But, do I also recall correctly that the "Church" coopted a pegan holiday for Christmas too?

Also, I enjoyed meeting and talking with you at WWDTM on Valentine's day.

12:13 PM  
Blogger TIM said...

I gave up catholicism for Lent. So don't ask me.

11:42 PM  

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